As a teen I was addicted to magazines like Muscle & Fitness. The muscular, hulking figures on the pages represented to me the epitome of health & fitness. Little did I know that looks can be deceiving. Bodybuilders look great on stage, but they often lack the stamina, functional fitness and athleticism possessed by athletes and make no mistake; you are an athlete.

As I grew in my training, I also watched my father, great uncle and grandfather, men who never worked out a day in their life, perform incredible feats of strength and endurance. They spent their entire lives working on a dairy farm and the conditioning they built from their daily work created a physique that was lean and strong. They also had the muscular endurance to work sun-up to sundown.

As we move into the summer months, some of us are in the
midst of food plots and habit management.

Others are ramping up for a fall elk or mule deer hunt.

Either way, there is a BIG question you need to ask before you step foot in the gym for your next workout: Will my training translate to the field?

On my property, the woods are loaded with a plant called Coral Berry. It is a native plant, but it spreads wildly, and my goal is to clear some travel lanes and kill plots in the woods where equipment such as tractors or ATV’s are not an option. 

To clear the areas, it is good old-fashioned grunt work.

Coral Berry roots near the top of the soil making it easy to pull. It also grows in clumps so the best way to maximize each pull is to move into a deadlift stance, grip and rip! Nothing too difficult unless you repeat the action for three straight hours testing both muscular strength, power, and endurance.

What about running a brush cutter, weed whacker, chain saw or hauling a backpack sprayer? If you are still breaking down your workouts into back, chest, legs, and arms, you are likely missing out on building the functional fitness you need to perform in the field. Do you have the conditioning to work on your terms or are you fatiguing out long before the work is finished?

If you are training for a back country experience, are you more focused on your legs, core and upper back or do you continue to make chest day the first workout of the week. If you are, it is possible you are making a mistake with your training.

There are a ton of great programs out there and if the only workout you will do mirrors that of Mr. Olympia, then you are better off than doing nothing at all. However, there are better programs out there that will give you the functional fitness to recreate or work on your terms and look pretty good in a t-shirt to boot. You do not have to trade out performance, aesthetics or health; you can have all three with the right program.

If we can be of assistance, please email us at and, as always, stay #FitToHunt